Friday Oct 17, 2014

Oracle VM Server for SPARC Best Practices White Paper

I'm very pleased to announce a new white paper has been published: Oracle VM Server for SPARC Best Practices.

This paper shows how to configure to meet demanding performance and availability requirements. Topics include:

  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC definitions, concepts and deployment options.
  • Software, hardware, and firmware requirements.
  • Best Practices for optimal performance.
  • Best Practices for resiliency and availability.

The paper includes specific recommendations, describes the reasons behind them, and illustrates them with examples taken from actual systems.

Tuesday Sep 23, 2014

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1.1 Released

A new maintenance release to Oracle VM Server for SPARC has been released, providing several enhancements described in the What's New page. This update adds support for private VLANs and relieves virtual I/O scalability constraints. This was already announced in the Virtualization Blog, but the I/O scalability improvement deserves further discussion.

Previous blog entries have described scalability improvements that improve virtual disk and network I/O performance. This new update adds scalability in a different context, by increasing the number of virtual I/O devices a domain can have.

Every virtual I/O device requires a Logical Domain Channel (LDC) endpoint. Previous product versions had a limit of 768 LDCs (or 512 on UltraSPARC T2 systems) per domain (not per system) that constrained growth. This set a maximum number of virtual I/O devices in a domain, which impeded migration of large configurations that might have hundreds of disk devices or network connections. While this could be addressed in a number of ways, such as using physical I/O or consolidating many small LUNs onto fewer large LUNs, it was an impediment to adopting Oracle VM Server for SPARC. It especially affected how service domains could be used, since each service domain has LDC endpoints for each of the virtual devices it provides to guests.

With this new update, and with associated system firmware levels, LDC endpoints are arranged into a large pool which can be shared among domains. As described in Using Logical Domain Channels, each domain can have 1,984 LDC endpoints on SPARC T4, SPARC T5, M5, and M6 systems, out of a pool of 98,304 LDC endpoints in total. The required system firmware to support the LDC endpoint pool is 8.5.1.b for SPARC T4 and 9.2.1.b for SPARC T5, SPARC M5, and SPARC M6.

This more than doubles the number of I/O devices available to a guest domain, and can be implemented by installing the current firmware and moving to the Oracle VM Server for SPARC update.

Saturday Feb 09, 2013

Oracle VM Manager used with SPARC - demo

Oracle VM Server for SPARC with Oracle VM Manager - demonstrated in Youtube videos! Read the full article for links and other information.[Read More]

Friday Oct 05, 2012

Running Solaris 11 as a control domain on a T2000

There is increased adoption of Solaris 11, and some customers test it with older servers. This blog entry illustrates how to run Solaris 11 as a control domain on a T1-based server like a T2000.[Read More]

Friday Aug 31, 2012

Best Practices - Dynamic Reconfiguration

Oracle VM Server for SPARC provides dynamic reconfiguration for CPU, RAM, and I/O devices, letting virtual machine resource be changed on the fly without disruption. Solaris cooperates with Oracle VM Server for SPARC to safely allocate and de-allocate dynamically changing resources - as illustrated in this note.[Read More]

Monday Jul 09, 2012

New blog article series "What's up with LDoms"

Highly recommended: a new series of blog articles by Stefan Hinker, titled "What's up with LDoms" (officialy Oracle VM Server for SPARC) at https://blogs.oracle.com/cmt/entry/what_s_up_with_ldoms.

The article provides an architectural overview of Oracle VM Server for SPARC and even discusses some new and advanced features. I recommend this to anyone wanting to get a good understanding of Logical Domains / Oracle VM Server for SPARC.

Thursday Jun 14, 2012

Mixed Solaris 10 and 11 versions in logical domains on the same server

You can mix Oracle Solaris 10 and Solaris 11 domains on the same server, subject only to the software requirements for the hardware platform. Read further for details.[Read More]

Tuesday Jun 05, 2012

What happened to the MAUs on T4?

The T4 servers have crypto acceleration "just built in" so administrators no longer have to assign crypto accelerator units to domains - it "just happens"[Read More]

Thursday May 24, 2012

Cross-CPU Live Migration in Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2 can now live migrate running guest domains between T-series servers even if they don't have the same chip type or frequency. [Read More]

Thursday Jun 09, 2011

Live migration in Oracle VM Server SPARC 2.1

Oracle VM Server SPARC now supports "live migration" - this blog entry explains how it works, shows examples using it, and describes how it can be used. [Read More]

Wednesday Jun 08, 2011

Oracle VM Server SPARC 2.1 Released

Oracle VM Server SPARC 2.1 Released - with new features, especially live domain migration. This blog entry gives a quick overview of the new features.[Read More]

Thursday Jan 21, 2010

Logical Domains 1.3 Released

A new version of Logical Domains has been released, with new functionality for resource management and domain migration.[Read More]

Sunday Nov 08, 2009

Dedicated CPUs in zones - a small RM exercise

An exercise with resource management using Logical Domains and Solaris Containers, illustrating how these technologies interact, and how resource management looks when dedicated CPUs are used with Containers. [Read More]
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